The second test between India and Australia at the New Perth Stadium stands well in the balance at the end of a fascinating opening day’s play. Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss and took everyone by surprise by electing to bat on a lush green Perth wicket. The Aussies certainly had the advantage in the morning session with their openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch remaining unscathed at lunch but the visitors managed to bounce back in the post lunch session, picking up 3 wickets in quick succession to grab a better hold of the match which seemed to be drifting away at one point of time.
It was Jasprit Bumrah who drew the first blood for India, trapping Finch right in the front of the stumps soon after the latter had reached his fifty. Number 3 batsman Usman Khawaja never really looked settled at the crease and once ended up playing a poor shot to Umesh Yadav, outside edging a ball that was not quite there for the cut into the gloves of Rishabh Pant behind the wickets. The biggest wicket of the session however was that of Finch’s opening partner Marcus Harris, who was batting on 70 looking well set to register a big score.
It was part time spinner Hanuma Vihari who did the damage in his second over, providing Virat Kohli and Team India with a much needed third wicket. It was the extra bounce in the Perth wicket which took the batsman by surprise and he ended up edging it straight into the safe hands of Ajinkya Rahane at first slip. The ball pitched slightly short of good length and bounced drastically leaving Harris in no position to play the attempted cut short and Harris could do absolutely nothing to keep it down.
Team India, in the meanwhile, have decided to go with an pace attack in the ongoing test match, taking into consideration the lush green nature of the Perth wicket. Vihari, who showed his prowess with the ball in his debut test match against England, picking up 3 crucial wickets, is once again proving to be a vital clog for the Indian team, who are playing without a specialist spinner in the test match.
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— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 14, 2018